Masked drug squad police from the Central American Republic of Honduras have arrested a galley worker from the cruise ship Norwegian Dawn on the Caribbean island of Roatan after he allegedly tried to reboard the ship with cocaine concealed in his clothing.
The crewman, a Nicaraguan identified by local Honduran media as Keneth Antonio Salas Taylor, 35, was said to have been apprehended by ship security personnel carrying a package around his waist. According to Cruise Law News, ship security staff then reported the incident to local police. Pictures of the arrest appeared on the drug squad’s Facebook site.
Last month, five galley workers on the cruise ship Norwegian Sun were arrested in Tampa, Florida, in connection with the smuggling of 7kg of cocaine from Roatan, Cruise Law News reports.
In a separate incident last month, Argentine police pounced on 15kg of pure cocaine on a Royal Caribbean Line ship. US publication Maritime Executive reports that customs officials seized the drug, worth over a million dollars, from two crew members when their ship, Splendour of the Seas, docked in Buenos Aires.
In February, the protection and indemnity insurer Skuld warned shipowners of an upsurge in drug smuggling attempts in the Caribbean. Part of the reason, according to Skuld, is increased vigilance at the US/Mexico border. Tighter border security is forcing smugglers to try new routes and ways of moving narcotics into the US – and cruise ships are the latest trend.
Edited by : Peter Needham